Showing posts with label Consumer Expectations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Consumer Expectations. Show all posts

February 22, 2008

“Instant Boot-Up” and Enterprise Architecture

Who doesn’t get a little frustrated at the length of time for booting up a computer?

MIT Technology Review, 16 January 2008, states “many office workers have the same morning routine; turn on the computer, then grab coffee catch up with coworkers, or look at paperwork while Windows boots up. Others save time, but waste energy, by keeping their machines on all the time.” –So which category are you in?

This is an Enterprise Architecture issue. If it takes a computer a long time to boot, there is a human impact and a business-productivity impact to the organization. Form the human perspective, people do not like to wait around or be aimless or idle. We’re an inpatient society and one that is addicted to immediate gratification. Being forced to wait for a computer that is supposed to be expediting and simplifying your life and work is not only counter-intuitive, but annoying and frustrating to people who want to be productive human beings, and excel personally and professionally. Sitting staring at an empty screen, looking for something to occupy your time, or just twiddling your thumbs is not a user-centric EA way to meet users’ needs. From a productivity perspective, lost time is lost money. Enough said on that.

I googled online and found oodles (actually almost 13 million) articles and blogs addressing the issue of boot time.

One blog wrote “Most of us have had a brand new computer at one time. It's a great feeling. You boot up windows and within 30 seconds you are surfing the net, checking your email, or playing your favorite game. 10 months down the road things aren't so nice anymore. You power up your computer and it seems to take forever to load.” Doesn’t sound like a happy Windows user to me. (

MIT Technology review reports that some vendors are taking up the cause and are developing products that “circumvents the everlasting boot-up.”

One such technology is called Splashtop by Device VM; “a person using the software—which is is based on open-source operating system Linux—can start surfing the web or watching a DVD These days that would be boot up nirvana, I believe. in less then 20 seconds, and in some case, in less than five.”

“Splashtop is embedded in the BIOS so it starts before the operating system is up and running. The user sees a screen with a simple interface offering a handful of options, including launching Firefox Web browser, a media player, Skype [telephony], or an instant messaging program, or allowing Windows to boot.”

The director of Intel’s business-client architecture group states “it’s a positive development in that it’s making the PC easier to use in certain circumstances.”

Maybe the issue with computer boot time is two-fold. First is that the darn thing actually does takes too long to start up. Imagine if your toaster, light bulb, television, or automobile took as long. We’d be going around like mimes, starting and stopping our activities in jerking motions, constantly waiting for something to activate. Secondly, there’s an expectation aspect to this. Powerful computers can perform trillions of transactions per second, yet they can’t even get to a functional screen without us having to slumber around waiting. It’s an inconsistency and a dashed consumer expectation every time you turn on the computer. It doesn’t make sense and its time to make the automation meet reasonable consumer expectations.